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Port v Afan Lido - 10/01/04

A warm welcome to Y Traeth for this afternoon's encounter against Afan Lido. I hope their players, directors and supporters had a pleasant trip up. I am sure that today will be another tough game against a well-coached and hard working side.

It is that time of year when teams seem to be increasingly struggling with injuries. Both Bangor and TNS have made much of their recent injury problems. Many teams seem to be searching for players to bolster their squads. The recent wet weather has done no favors to pitches. Many of the injuries are, in part at least, caused by the heavy wet pitches. Unfortunately Porthmadog have not been immune to injuries Danny Hughes has a broken bone in his foot suffered in the match against Connah's Quay, the extent of the injury was not appreciated and he played against Rhyl, now he has been ordered to rest and will be out for a few weeks. Emrys Williams is another casualty; he has had an x-ray and is booked to see a specialist next week. Both players have been consistent performers for us this season and we will miss them. With only a small squad there comes a time when you have to freshen things up by bringing in one or two new faces. That time has come. I am hopeful that we will have a new face on show today. We need to bolster the squad in order to get a new impetus into our play so that we can keep picking up points in the next few games.

The specter of clubs leaving to join the English league reared it’s head again this week when new Barry chairman Stuart Lovering was quoted as saying that unless the Welsh Premier improves he would move Barry Town into the English system. Many schemes have been advocated to improve the League such as reducing it to 14 or 12 clubs. My question is not whether that will improve the league but whether it will improve the quality of Welsh players. Porthmadog have been keen to play players from the Gwynedd area and that is what we have done. Many teams draw their players from further a field and this may deprive Welsh players from playing in the Welsh Premier. We all want to see improvements in facilities, the standard of play and attendances but clubs must develop within their financial means, Barry more than anyone should know that. Some clubs have bigger budgets than others but that is true of every league in every country. I think things are improving in the Welsh Premier but the pace of change may be too slow for some, while others feel that it is too fast - you can't please everyone. Enjoy today's game.


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